Dogue de Bordeaux are best for quiet households with older (or no) children. These large dogs need enough space to stretch out and lots of training, and would do best with an experienced pet parent.
Dogue de Bordeaux Traits
What makes the Dogue de Bordeaux a Dogue de Bordeaux? Let's find out how they stack up.
Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament
Tom Hanks may have been upstaged by his co-star in the classic 80s movie “Turner & Hooch,” but IRL Hooch would be content to let you steal the show. The Dogue de Bordeaux (also known as the French Mastiff, and the breed that played the lovable aforementioned Hooch) is a calm and mild-mannered pup who is more interested in being your devoted pal than being on the A-list.
While generally gentle and laid-back, Dogue de Bordeaux can be protective, stubborn and sometimes aggressive toward other dogs. (They were used to guard French estates back in the day.) Proper socialization and training at an early age are necessary to make sure your puppy doesn’t become overly fearful or aggressive toward people they don’t know. Working with a certified trainer can help ensure your puppy grows up to be friendly and confident.
The Dogue de Bordeaux breed can get along with other dogs, cats and kids—if trained properly and/or they grow up together.
Dogue de Bordeaux can—and will… sometimes—jump into action at a moment’s notice, and are surprisingly speedy for their size, but they are happiest lounging around with their family. They thrive on interacting with the people they love the most, though their snoring and constant drooling certainly won’t win them any awards in the Quietest Sleeper or Tidiest Dog categories.
How to Care for a Dogue de Bordeaux
These dogs may be high on the maintenance scale, but caring for a Dogue de Bordeaux is not all work and no play. While their wrinkly faces, complete with buckets of drool, require daily cleaning, their fur is fairly easy to maintain and requires minimal brushing. As a puppy, the breed needs proper socialization and training to grow up friendly and confident. But when it comes to exercise, you’re in luck—they’re not really into running and have much lower energy levels than, say, a Border Collie. So that leaves more time for playing and lounging (again, you’re really going to need that king-sized bed!).
Dogue de Bordeaux Health
The Dogue de Bordeaux has a lifespan of 5 to 8 years, and there are several health issues seen commonly in this breed. But these potential health problems shouldn’t stop you from bringing this pup into your home. Many can be screened for by a responsible breeder ahead of time, including hip, elbow and shoulder evaluation, and cardiac exam.
- Bloat: Also known as gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), bloat is a major concern in larger breeds with deep chests. It occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food or fluid. When the stomach becomes distended, it puts pressure on the organs and decreases blood flow. In many cases, the stomach twists and obstructs blood supply to major organs. This can happen quickly and be life-threatening and requires surgery.
- Orthopedic Issues: The size of the Dogue de Bordeaux can put strain on bones, joints and ligaments, resulting in dysplasia in the hips, elbows and shoulders. Dysplasia occurs when the joint isn’t formed correctly and can be painful. This can be reduced by limiting steps, jumping and strenuous exercise at least until your puppy is 18 months. Joint dysplasia can be treated with medication and sometimes surgery.
- Heart Disease: Dogue de Bordeaux are especially susceptible to a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, which occurs when the heart becomes enlarged and weak and can no longer pump blood effectively. This condition can usually be managed with medication. Another heart concern is aortic stenosis, which is a partial obstruction of blood flow as it moves out of the heart. If this is serious enough, it may require surgery to replace the blocked valve.
- Cancer: Lymphoma, or lymphosarcoma, occurs more often in the Dogue de Bordeaux than other breeds. The disease causes the body to make abnormal lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, which means it can be found anywhere in the body. It’s one of the few cancers that can be found through a blood test. Like in humans, the treatment is chemotherapy and has a great success rate in dogs, but it is costly.
- Epilepsy: Seizure disorders in the Dogue de Bordeaux are typically genetic and occur between 6 months and 3 years of age. Though scary for a pet parent to watch, seizures can usually be managed with medication.
Dogue de Bordeaux History
Like several dog breeds, including the Berger de Beauce, the Dogue de Bordeaux originates from France, in the Bordeaux region. Also called French Mastiffs, their history goes back to ancient times, and the accepted theory is that they were introduced to France (known as Gaul at the time) in the first century BC. The dogs were used as war dogs and ruthless warriors. Throughout time, the breed has been used as hunters and drafters pulling wagons and carts.
Dogue de Bordeaux were originally bred in two types, the smaller Doguin who disappeared in the 1700s and the larger dog which is what we now know as the Dogue de Bordeaux. Around that same time, they were used as guard dogs for estates of aristocrats, but that ended during the French Revolution when nobility were sent to prison or killed.
The breed became popular in the United States with the release of the 1989 movie “Turner & Hooch.” The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2007, and the Dogue de Bordeaux joined the AKC Working group in 2008. (The Working group includes the dogs who typically have jobs to do, like guarding or pulling sleds.)
Are you looking to add a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy to your family? This type of puppy typically costs between $1,500-$2,500. Check out the AKC puppy finder to find a reputable breeder who should screen for health and temperament issues. You can also seek out local Dogue de Bordeaux rescues to find a worthy, loving dog to adopt, or keep an eye out for the breed at your local animal shelter. When adopting, be sure to ask for the dog’s wellness check information.
How do you pronounce Dogue de Bordeaux?
Dogue de Bordeaux is pronounced “dohg duh bore-DOE.”
Do Dogue de Bordeaux bark a lot?
No, Dogue de Bordeaux don’t bark a lot. They may bark if startled or at strangers but generally don’t bark that much otherwise.
Do Dogue de Bordeaux shed?
Dogue de Bordeaux shed minimally year-round. Loose hair can be easily contained with a rubber curry or shedding blade.
Are Dogue de Bordeaux aggressive?
Dogue de Bordeaux are not generally aggressive and are mostly mild-mannered. They can become aggressive if they aren’t properly socialized and trained at a young age.
What are the most common Dogue de Bordeaux mixes?
The most common Dogue de Bordeaux mixes are:
- Dogue de Bordeaux-Bull Mastiff mix (Bully Bordeaux)
- Dogue de Bordeaux-Pitbull mix (Bordeaux Pitbull)
- Dogue de Bordeaux-Rottweiler mix (Rottie Bordeaux)
- Dogue de Bordeaux-Boxer mix (Dogue de Boxer)
- Dogue de Bordeaux-Cane Corso mix (Bordeaux Corso)
Always wanted a French friend? Dogue de Bordeaux are a gentle, wildly loyal breed who aren’t afraid protect the ones they love. These big-headed droolers will love to be with you, especially if it means taking life at a leisurely pace.